Sermon Snippets – Adrian Rogers On Depression

Depression – a deep mood of despair. Millions of Americans suffer from depression making it a billion-dollar-plus industry. These were the statistics when Pastor Adrian Rogers preached on depression prior to his death in 2005. Can you imagine what the uptake is today in 2023?

Pastor Rogers defines depression this way from a letter a young man wrote him many years ago:

  • a passive or listless feeling
  • nothing feels good
  • a constant state of hopelessness
  • feeling that no one cares
  • no one understands
  • no one really accepts me
  • continual worry
  • anxiety
  • lost all incentive
  • repeated crying with no cause
  • waking at night, unable to sleep
  • feel fatigued and dread facing the day ahead
  • suicidal thoughts
  • heavy feeling in the chest
  • distrusts own wisdom
  • second guess yourself
  • irritable
  • cross with others
  • unable to be enthusiastic about anything

You may not be depressed, but you may know someone who is struggling with some or all of the above, and you need to read this message.

God’s people are not immune from depression. As a matter of fact, the Bible has many examples of men who struggled with depression.

David, Moses, Jonah, Elijah, Paul, John the Baptist

Historically well-known people like Charles Spurgeon and Winston Churchill also battled some depression.

In this sermon, Pastor Rogers looks at Psalm 42:1-11, a psalm David wrote. There are several things we can learn from David’s struggle. First, let’s look at a bit of history on David and we’ll get a better picture of why he felt down.

David experienced many losses.

  • he lost his son Absolom
  • lost wealth, power, and financial stability
  • lost his newborn son
  • his daughter was raped
  • his wife had been assaulted
  • another son of his was killed
  • his nation was in turmoil

He had a reason to be down.

Let’s look at the passages from Psalm 42, verses 1 and 2.

“As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?”

Spiritual dryness – David is thirsty for God but feels God is far off. David’s soul is searching. “God, where are you?”

How many times have we asked God if he has forgotten us or moved away?

The truth is God has not forgotten us or moved away. Maybe we have moved away from him. Maybe we have forgotten God.

Let’s see what we can learn from verse 3.

My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”

It seems David has been crying uncontrollably, weeping, and feeling shame. People are asking him, “Where is your God?”

4 These things I remember
    as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
    under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
    among the festive throng.

David remembers the days he had joy and praise. He remembers going to the house of God and feeling God’s protection.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?

David has had a tough time.

Pastor Rogers says there are three spiritual provisions for depression.

Look within and analyze your heart.

Look at verses 5-7.

“Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.”

David is talking to himself now. He is asking his soul why it is so downcast. 

Have you ever asked your soul why you are depressed? What’s the reason? Do you know, like David, you can pour out your grief to God? You can refuse to brood over it. You can look at the situation and ask what you have or can learn from it.

Perhaps you have sinned? 

Confess your sins to God, and agree with God, you were wrong. Accept God’s forgiveness, then close that door. 

Analyze your heart.

Another point Pastor Rogers makes is – Look upward and recognize your help.

Verses 7-9 say this:

“Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”

David is acknowledging that God is his help, his hope, and his friend. God is a loving God and friend. What a friend we have in Jesus, even when we don’t understand.

Warren Wiersbe said, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived. We live by promises, not explanations.”

God has not failed or forgotten us. We don’t have to understand because it may be part of the trial and test.

We can trust God with almost anything if we understand why. But God doesn’t let us understand why all the time, but that we might know who, that we trust him with what we don’t understand.

Pastor Roger’s next point is – Look onward and recognize your hope.

Psalm 42:11

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.”

My friend, hope in God! No matter how bleak your circumstances feel, God is with you! Don’t lose hope!

David tells himself in verse 11 – “Self, put your hope in God. Praise him!” 

Hope is not a wish list, but a definite assurance based on anticipation.

According to Pastor Rogers, there are two places where hope cannot be found.

  1. Heaven – You have fulfillment in heaven, so you don’t need hope.
  2. Hell – If you are in hell, you are beyond all hope.

Don’t let Satan blow out your candle of hope!

He summarizes his sermon this way:

  1. Look inward and analyze your heart.
  2. Look upward and realize your help.
  3. Look outward and realize your hope.

God will never be satisfied until your greatest desire is for him alone.

There is no hope in this world or the next apart from Jesus Christ.

God has a way for you to get up from being down.

Hope in God – He will see you through!

Thanks, Pastor Rogers for your sermon on depression. It comes at a time when many are feeling depressed today. A recent study shows that many teenage girls are struggling with depression today. And I know there are many more struggling with depression too.

Let’s remember where our hope comes from. Let’s not allow Satan or anyone else to blow out our candle of hope.


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